If you’re shopping early for awesome Christmas gifts, now would be the time to grab this Lord of the Rings: The Battle of Helm’s Deep Lego set. It’s currently on sale for $98.80. That’s 24% off the list price!
The battle for Middle Earth rages on in the LEGO Battle of Helm’s Deep fortress set. Help Aragorn, King Théoden, Gimli, and Haldir repel the Uruk-hai army by stationing your men atop the outer fortress wall, deploying your catapult, and climbing the tower to blow The Horn of Helm Hammerhand. At 20 inches wide, this formidable set features an opening main gate, a hidden door, an exploding wall, and eight mini-figures that allow kids ages 10 and up to recreate the signature battle from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
This is Stijn Oom, a 14-year-old kid from the Netherlands. Stijn started to play with Lego right after he was potty trained (literally).
Just a short time later, he’s a certifiable Lego genius. He builds the best Lego tanks I’ve ever seen. The accuracy and precision is uncanny. His sense of design, the way he captures the details, impressive. This is his story, and these are his creations.
“I’m Stijn and i’m 14 years old, I live in Holland. I am quite fond of WW2 and I love LEGO,” he tells me in an email interview.
He started out just like any other kid: “I think most people still remember the first time they got a Lego or Duplo model. The first time for me, was when I did Doo-Dooon the toilet for the first time by myself. My parents bought me the yellow excavator, from the Bob the Builder sets. I loved it. From that point I started to collect Duplo. Almost every Christmas, ‘Santa’ got me a Duplo set.”
When he turned five, he started to build with actual Lego. For that birthday, he got one of the old Creator sets. But—more surprisingly—at that early age he also began making Lego Technic sets. These are made for 14 year old kids and older. Technic is quite complex. Too complex for a five-year-old. But not for Stijn. Clearly, he was born for this.
Discovering a new world
Still, his path wasn’t different from most other kids back then, aside from expanding his repertoire; “I got interested in Lego Star Wars, which started when I bought myself the X-Wing,” he says. Stijn kept collecting these but then something changed. He discovered that he could do a lot more than just follow the instructions for branded sets. That’s when he found out about World War II:
About a year-and-a-half ago, I looked around on Google because I wanted to build a tank. I wanted to build one because I wanted to get the treads Lego produced. So, i looked around, and found some WW2 tanks on Flickr.
He was hooked. He loved the aesthetics. He loved the complex vehicles, the scenes. It was a new and amazing world for him.
Designing and making his own WW2 vehicles
This is when he learned advanced building techniques: “when I discovered Flickr, I found out that there was a HUGE Lego community going on! Reactions on builds, comments, favorites! It was the perfect system for every young builder.” Flickr is used by Lego fans to share their creations. They like it especially for its image annotation abilities, which allows them to highlight details and comment on them.
He joined the website, started to post his creations and garnered positive response from the community almost right away. More importantly, he gained knowledge. “I learned new techniques from other builders,” he says. They taught him new techniques and he “became better and better.”
Quickly, he learned it all. Using standard Lego pieces, he started to create his very own designs from scratch based on real world WW2 armament and battles.
Soon, things began to look amazingly good, like you can see in these pictures. His designs became extremely accurate and intricate, yet elegant and simply resolved. Believe me, it requires some strong abstraction powers and imagination to turn the complex shapes of a vehicle like a Panzer or a Hellcat into a perfect Lego model.
Just one year later, he’s one of the most accomplished builders in the world, respected by his peers and well known among fans of World War II builders. His models are so damn good that they can pass for official sets.
But Lego doesn’t sell military sets. It’s part of the company DNA—unless they are laser guns, like the Star Wars sets, the Danish company doesn’t manufactures guns or military minifigs. For those little details Stijn has to order from Brickarms.com, an online shop that uses the same Lego molding techniques and plastic to produce tiny plastic machine guns, pistols and minifig with uniforms. Only these tiny details are not from Lego. The rest is just the standard stuff you and I can buy at any store.
Stijn even takes these great photos: “I photograph myself, with my mothers camera. It’s a Sony cam, and works absolutely superb! I use a black paper as background most of the times, and edit the pictures with picmonkey.”
Well kid, you are doing an awesome job. Here’s hoping you get hired by Lego soon!
But he’d probably make Alfred assemble the entire thing. Weighing in at more than 20,000 LEGO pieces and over 100 pounds, this light-up Batcave diorama by Carlyle Livingston II and Wayne Hussey comes tricked out with the Batmobile, Batboat, Batcopter, Batwing, Batplane, and a few Batcycles for good measure. (It took 800 hours, so mint rides are a must.)
Furthermore, the Batmobile spins on a motorized turntable, the wall rack of weapons and costumes cycles, and the Batplane can be lifted for takeoff. Throw in the Batpole and a Batcomputer filled with Arkham rogues, and you have probably the best LEGO Batcave ever built. Click on the below photos to view in full.
This is Link’s Hylian shield made by Flickr user Bolt of Blue entirely out of LEGO pieces. You and I — you and I could never do that. “I could.” No, you couldn’t. And even if you had the skills and were actually working on building one I would sneak in during the middle of the night and eat all your progress. Those weird little wingding bits that aren’t even bricks? Those are my favorite.
Hit the jump for a bunch more shots from all angles including the very impressive back. No word if if it’s sturdy enough to stop an Octorok rock.
Thanks to my buddy Terry, who’s all jealous because I’ve already gotten two orange-rarity guns in Borderlands 2 and he hasn’t gotten any even though I’m a level 27 and he’s a 31. And to blaqk_panda, who I hadn’t heard from in awhile and just assumed had been killed by poachers.
We’ve featured LEGO mad scientist akiyuki and his Great Ball Contraption before, but the updated version of his machine is too awesome not too share. The machine is about 101 feet long and shuffles 500 balls around. It took akiyuki a total of 600 hours to finish this machine.
Nope, that’s just a third of the whole thing. You’ll have to watch the video below to see all of its parts:
The basketball area is amazing and hilarious. The arms are so accurate, but I can’t help imagining them in a real factory, shooting packages through a hoop.
Last month we shared a sweet LEGO Dark Knight action figure by M. McCooey. We now have his latest LEGO Amazing Spider-Man piece.
Here is a description from his MOC Page:
After completing my last two figures (Deadpool / Batman) I decided that my current human figure design was good, but still somewhat limiting, today’s figures are more poseable than ever, and I felt that my Lego Figures should follow the same evolution. This was only part of the impetus for the redesign, the other reason of course being the subject matter. Spider-Man needed to be extremely poseable even more so than a typical human being, so a complete overhaul was needed. He also needed to be slimmer to match Spider-Man’s lithe, athletic physique, while including additional joints. Quite a challenge. NEW AND IMPROVED -He has a ball joint at the base of the neck as well as pivot joint at the base of the skull, allowing him to look all the way down and over his shoulders when contorted. -A mid-torso joint that allows him to bend his spine forward and back, it also rotates from left to right, like the waist joint. -His elbows and knees are double jointed, which allows free range of movement and the ability to fully crouch his legs. -The hips can now allow the legs up and over the waste line allowing for those very spider-like poses. -His ankles have a second pivot joint for extra steep ankle poses, as well of full range of motion in the main joint. -His feet have an articulated toe piece to make those perching poses more natural. -I got a lot of feedback about some of my more lackluster photos of Batman, so I purchased better photo equipment, seems to have made a difference, Thanks for the tips! I’M OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS FOR MY NEXT FIGURE, SOUND OFF IN THE COMMENTS!
Also A special Thank You to those of you who helped make my last figure so big I got on Gizmodo, Geek tyrant, Brother’s Brick and many others.
Check out this bad-ass action figure:
I like the Dark Knight version better, but that is because I am a bigger fan of the character.This is very impressive, and is something that any Spidey fan will love!
Earlier this week, we featured some incredible artwork from one of the most popular shows on TV ‘Breaking Bad’, but as if that wasn’t enough, we’re now bringing you the entire meth lab from the show, recreated in LEGO form.
It was created by one serious super-fan, but we want to know, do you find it creepy, cool or ingenious?
Have your say in the comments below.
This is the 50,000+ piece diorama of Lord Of The Ring’s elf haven Rivendell built by LEGOManiacs Blake Baer and Jack Bittner. The 30″ x 40″ piece weighs 120 pounds and took over 600 years to build. Well, that’s just my guesstimate, but I’ve never lost one of those ‘guess how many jelly beans are in the jar’ contests.
Hit the jump for some closeups but be sure to check out Blake’s Flickr if you want to treat your eyeballs to some sexy-ass high-res shots.
Thanks to stolenradiowave, who may or may yes be one of those crazy pirate radio broadcasters always talking about conspiracy theories. God I love listening to that shit.
Check out this incredibly epic fan-made LEGO model of the Serenity ship from Joss Whedon‘sFirefly. The seven-foot-long, 135 pound, 70,000 piece LEGO brick model was awesomely built byAdrian Drake.
This project took 475 hours over 21 months. The ship has a full interior from the bridge to the cargo bay, and features lights in the cargo bay and firefly drive.
This thing turned out so damn amazing! I’ve included some more pictures below, but you can click here to see all 75 detailed photos.
Building a martian rover is one thing, but re-creating it without any glue is another.
(Credit: BattleBricks/Will Gorman)
In our twisted pop geek culture, it’s not cutting-edge technology until it’s been replicated with the most simplistic of child’s toys. With that in mind, congrats are due to NASA’s Curiosity rover, which has finally been reduced to a scale model made of Legos. Oh yea, the full-size rover alsolanded on Mars yesterday.
Doug Moran and Will Gorman used thousands of Lego Technic and Mindstorms bricks to create the model capable of turning 360 degrees and controlled via a special Mindstorms NXT joystick and a separate NXT Bluetooth interface for the arms and mast. In addition to the mounds of Lego bricks involved, there are also 13 LEGO NXT motors and two power function motors helping the project ambulate.
The duo originally presented the Curiosity model at the launch of the real deal at the Kennedy Space Center last year, but they’ve since improved the design with a more robust chassis and some other upgrades and brought it back for a “Build the Future” event over the weekend.
You can watch the mini Curiosity in action in the video below, and if you prefer to experience all your historic moments in Lego-vision, check out how the London Olympics have also received the plastic block treatment.